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date: 14 October 2019

Willan, (James) Healeylocked

  • Giles Bryant

Extract

(b Balham, London, Oct 12, 1880; d Toronto, Feb 16, 1968). Canadian composer, teacher, organist and choirmaster. Particularly influential as a teacher, he also wrote many choral and organ works that have been frequently performed across North America.

His early education was undertaken privately. At the age of eight he entered St Saviour’s Choir School, Eastbourne, where he studied until 1895. Several positions as organist and choirmaster in and around London culminated in his appointment to St John the Baptist, Holland Road, in 1903. After further studies with W.S. Hoyte, he gained the FRCO in 1899. A close association with Francis Burgess led to membership in the London Gregorian Association in 1910.

In 1913 Willan was appointed head of theory at the Toronto Conservatory and organist of St Paul’s. In the next year he became a lecturer in music at the University of Toronto. He later served as vice-principal of the conservatory (...

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